Saturday, June 29, 2013

ABA Task Force Updates

What do you when YOU have a problem? TASK FORCE!

Legal education's version of the SuperFriends met again last week, for the final time prior to their initial recommendations being released that will shock and change the world.


Task Force chair Randall T. Shepard, retired chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, said after Monday's meeting that the discussion reflected an "earnest concern" among task force members over the rising costs of a legal education....

So they're going to recommend an affirmative duty to lower costs and tell law schools to slash payroll and stop building cathedrals to student debt? Right?


But there appears be no consensus as to what, if anything, the task force can say or do that would help control the costs of a legal education or lessen the impact that U.S. News and World Report's annual law school rankings have had on law school admissions and the broader legal culture.

That maleficent US News, always foiling our heroes' plans!


"I think the task force recognizes that there are things that bar associations, bar admission bodies, state supreme courts and others can do that might improve graduate readiness and address some of these cost issues," he said.

Individually, they can only deflect responsibility so far, but combine their forces into a team of shoulder-shrugging, and you're going to wind up with one lackluster report. I can't wait. The level of dodging in the final copy is looking to be epic. There's so many other people they could blame, it'd be way too revolutionary to not engage in issue deflection.


They also want the task force to be bold and innovative in its proposed solutions.

I'm failing to understand what is "bold and innovative" about saying "cut salary costs and make it more practical." But I'm on the edge of my seat awaiting to be amazed.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

News Bits

Well, I'm back. Have been working on a side project that will hopefully get up sometime soon.

In any event, scammers and scamees, the ABA is ruffling feathers with the diversity folks:

A proposal to tighten the American Bar Association's bar passage requirement for law schools hasn't gone over well with some advocates for diversity in the legal profession.

To sum up, the ABA wants to raise the bar passage rate by 5 points. RACISTS they are, as it will make schools more hesitant to bring on applicants with low admission scores and low GPAs.

This is tenuous reasoning for several reasons, BUT, it goes to show all of you ignored idiots that if you want to get heard on an issue, the key is to accuse them of being RACIST. Because no one cared when the ABA accreditation standards were flooding the streets with an excess supply of lawyers while administrators and professors used the public serving legal education system to pay their mortgages in the exurbs, but the second you change the standards to dissuade schools from taking a chance on the 135 LSAT with a non-white ethnicity box checked it's "Oh the Humanity!"

In other news, JMLS is being showcased for its resplendent downtown Chicago interior design taste!

A major renovation project at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago has been selected for inclusion in the 2013 American School and University Educational Interiors Showcase, a premier competition honoring interiors excellence.

Go student loan money, go!

Oh, and you remember that whole issue in Texas with Larry Sager and the forgivable 500k loan to himself? Thoughts of defamation lawsuit!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Fort Wayne Journal Gazette Continues Defense of Indiana Tech

Almost two years ago, the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette published this article, which gave a voice to Indiana Tech executives to fight back against the onslaught of negative criticism the school faced from pretty much anyone who had nothing to do with Indiana Tech.

Today, they again gave space to Indiana Tech, this time with Dean Peter Alexander:

He is adamant: It’s not about the number of job openings versus the number of law school graduates. It’s about the quality of the law school graduate.

And Indiana Tech’s new law school will turn out high-quality graduates, making them necessities in any market, he said.

All you "economists" and "statisticians" regularly miss the point in the middle of all your suckage. Indiana Tech is going to use things like "externships" to give graduates practical experience that they simply don't get at schools like Valparaiso or Indiana-Indianapolis. They're going to come out rip-roarin' and ready-to-file, meaning they'll be competitive for all the paralegal positions that JDs normally get passed over for, dramatically expanding the "JD preferred" opportunity base.

You people who say "too many lawyers" are dopes. We don't have too many lawyers. We have too FEW good lawyers. Since Indiana Tech will obviously make good lawyers, they're good, just like every other law school in the country.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Belmont for the WIN

Welcome to the club, Tennessee amigos:

Belmont University College of Law has won provisional accreditation by the American Bar Association. 

Number 203. Today, there are more unnecessary law schools in America than one week ago. Suck that one, scambloggers.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Law Degrees: They're Versatile!

Don't believe me? Just ask this Steven Hinckley, Assoc. Dean in charge of the library at Penn State.

Those who earn J.D. degrees have had their intellectual abilities honed by outstanding educators and are tested in the company of some of our nation’s brightest students, he adds, “and they emerge with a variety of skills that are highly valued in our society both within, and outside, the law practice environment.”

As a result, notes Hinckley, law graduates are actively employed in politics and government, higher education and continuing education, business, alternate dispute resolution, publishing and research, law enforcement, communications, and the arts.

Look, bums, we've tried telling you this before, but people really do want your skill-set in their office. But you've all been so lazy, you insist that there should be an LA Law job waiting for you. Well, now Dean Hinckley has even given your lazy asses a list of search terms for your next CareerBuilder scan. Now go get yourselves one of them arts and communications jobs!

“Unrealistic expectations of instant and immediate financial success have caused some law graduates to lose sight of the fundamental versatility and value of their law degrees.”

Can you feel the rightness burning through your sinful soul? Because you're less employable, you've lost track of how employable the degree makes you.

As to prospective law students’ concerns abut (sic) getting a good ROI, Hinckley is quick to point out that the tuition you pay should be seen as an investment in a stimulating and fulfilling lifelong career, not simply one’s first job. 

BUY BUY BUY. Non-discounted tuition is at $38614. It's only going to go up from here, so you should BUY NOW. It's versatile and everything! Because we say so!

Also, gang, did you know that door-to-door law school solicitations violate city ordinances in some backwards parts of our fine country? On a related note, how would one of you unemployed graduates like some good pro bono experience?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Viginia Media is Awesome

From NBC's Charlotteville affiliate:

[T]he University of Virginia School of Law is being recognized for its job placement success: 99 percent of the graduates find meaningful work.

Emphasis added to showcase the fine - and awesomely inexplicable - adjective placement. (The video piece: "not just work, but meaningful work.").

For a short article/piece, UVA Assistant Dean (Career Services) Kevin Donovan went balls-out:

"If you are coming from a school like UVA you shouldn't just be focused on getting a job, you should be focused on trying to get a job where you are going to be able to make an impact on your world and to really feel like you've accomplished something you are happy about[.]"

UVA law's job placement beat out all of the other top law schools in the country - Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia. 

Donovan says UVA law doesn't focus on rankings - even the good ones.

An existential crisis or sorts: which do I laugh at first?

For reference (all numbers from LST):

Stanford 89.0%
Columbia 85.3%
Harvard 84.6%
Virginia 79.7%
Yale 77.0%

Virginia 3%
Harvard 1%
Yale 0.9%
Stanford 0.0%
Columbia 0.0%

Yale 34.7%
Stanford 28.2%
Harvard 17.8%
Virginia 14.3%
Columbia 7.9%

You idiots expecting media to help force change are barking up the wrong tree. You think these people want to look at HOW exactly UVA tried to claim superior job placement to the heaviest hitters? Heck no - they're just going to include UVA with Yale and Harvard and call it an afternoon. Local media has much more of an interest in blowing smoke up people's butts and advertising about lollipops falling from the sky.

You think the local NBC affiliate is going to question a dean who suggests law grads have the luxury of doing something that makes them happy? Do you think they called any of the 1/3 of the class working at firms of 500+ attorneys to ask them about their 80 hour work weeks spent saving America's wealthiest entities money?

Do you think they're going to laugh uproariously when UVA says it "doesn't focus on the rankings?" NOPE! They'd much rather report on a rabbit who turds out Barrack Obama portraits.

Fourth estate, bitches. These people eat out of our hands. They buy the statistics even after the courts say that they're so absurd they can't be relied upon. Virginia has their affiliate grouping them with the creme de la creme even though almost no one thinks of UVA with Harvard, Yale, and Stanford anymore.

I'm hitting the bar. God willing, I run into a coed who loves animals. I can tell her all about litigating for whales' rights in Alaska. Lying to get a woman into bed might be unethical. Lying to get her into law school? Well, that's just business.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Economics/Statistics Whiz Ted Seto: Lawyer Shortage Coming

In 10 years, after all this scambusting has turned to dust and legal education has retrenched into the dark ages, don't blame me when you can't find anyone to defend your parental rights. Don't blame me for your unjust incarceration or the fact that Grandma died during the 10-month waiting period for will drafting and now that pervert Uncle Herbert will inherit the fortune. Don't blame me when you and Shrewish Sheri can't get a divorce. Don't blame me when no one's chasing your ambulance. Don't blame me when your government grinds to an unproductive halt.

We're trying to warn you right now: there's a lawyer shortage coming.

I give you Ted Seto, Loyola Law Professor and economics/statistics maestro. In 2011, Seto remained unconvinced that legal education had any serious, long-term problems. Obviously, the man proved correct in his maverick stance and he has the utmost credibility on these issues. You should pay attention to him.

Now, Seto is claiming this:

Unless something truly extraordinary has happened to non-cyclical demand, a degrees-awarded-per-capita analysis suggests that beginning in fall 2015 and intensifying into 2016 employers are likely to experience an undersupply of law grads, provided that the economic recovery continues. To some extent, this will be buffered by recent oversupply. If matriculations remain at projected 2013 levels, however, once the market has absorbed the recent oversupply, a degrees-awarded-per-capita analysis suggests that long-term demand for law grads will outstrip long-term supply into the indefinite future.

This makes perfect, undeniable sense, as the number of law degrees awarded has always had a direct relationship to the actual market demand for lawyers. And who could deny Seto's premise that "[d]emand for legal services, however, probably increases as population increases?"

No I, said the blogger. More people, more legal problems, more lawyers. You poopieheads try to make this shit too complicated.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Now Law Professors Are Whining to Court

It was bad enough when the students were filing lawsuits alleging ridiculous claims against noble and just schools of law (again, we're LAW schools - we KNOW how to follow the LAW).

Now bitter ex-Professors are following suit (pun intended). Live, from Phoenix:

"Defendants have repeatedly violated ABA Standards 404 and 405 by threatening to and expelling professors, such as Professors O'Connor and Rumann, who challenge Defendants' actions with respect to students, curriculum, and faculty governance and have questioned whether the actions were in the interests of students and faculty and based on sound education objectives or driven by economic interests," the complaint reads.
During 2011, Phoenix unveiled two proposals for dealing with students and faculty dubbed "Legal Ed. 2.0." That program "resulted from Defendants' belief that they needed to ‘rebrand' the school and ‘build a better mousetrap' to prevent the school's students from transferring to more highly ranked law schools."
Additionally, administrators discussed refusing to write recommendation letters for transfer students; reordering mandatory first-year classes to render them incompatible with other law schools; and adopting a pass/fail grading system for 1Ls to prevent competitors identifying top students, the complaint alleges.

The Professors were allegedly fired for voicing opposition to these fine programs.

Whine. Whine whine whine whine whine. Whine.

You knew what you were getting into. You knew when you signed up with Phoenix that it was a for-profit investment scheme designed to transfer student loan money from greedy law students to greedy education profiteers. Anyone could have told you that working at Phoenix School of Law was a bad proposition and that you should have expected them to speak openly about trapping transferable students like women who try to get pregnant by NBA stars to get checks for the next 18 years.

Have you two tried networking? Have you gone to job fairs? Have you printed off your resumes and gone door to door? How many law professor applications have you sent out? Have you asked for temporary overflow professor work? I bet you're not out there hustling, but are instead sitting on the couch in Mom's basement, because obviously this complaint is REALLY about your unemployment and your inability to cope with it or your own sloth.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Opportunities Expanding Rapidly in Kentucky

Despite the fulfilling life of the average barrister, lawyers are apparently killing themselves at a distressingly-high rate in Kentucky:

They are among at least a dozen lawyers in Kentucky who have committed suicide since 2010, including three in Louisville and three in Northern Kentucky. Half died in the past 12 months. All were men, their average age 53, and most were trial lawyers.

When law schools claim they'll be lots of job openings as boomers quickly leave the profession, they apparently ain't foolin'.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

How To Turn God-Awful Numbers to Shillables: Go Patrick Hobbs, Go

A Message from Seton Hall Dean Patrick E. Hobbs (a.k.a "The Valvoline Dean"):

Law School Transparency (LST) ranked Seton Hall Law 4th among law schools in the tri-state area for the placement of its graduates in “law jobs,” defined as full-time, long-term employment with a J.D. required or a J.D. preferred. Seton Hall Law was outranked in the NY, NJ and the PA area by only three schools, all of which are in the Top 10.

Did you know Law School Transparency ranks schools by subregions? I didn't, either, it wouldn't really make sense, and I can't find a link for such things, but if you're Patrick Hobbs, you look at Law School Transparency not as an annoyance that points out that your law school is a terrible, head-smashing option for 98% of law applicants. Oh, no. You view it as yet another means to validate the awesomeness of your particular institution through any means possible.

Here's where LST "ranks" the top 10 schools in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania and their respective employment scores:

1. Pennsylvania - 94.4%
2. Columbia - 93.4%
3. New York U. - 91.1%
4. Cornell - 85.3%
5. Seton Hall - 65.2%
6. Fordham - 62.8%
7. Penn State - 56.2%
8. Cardozo - 53.2%
9. CUNY - 52.5%
10. Rutgers 1 - 52.3%

Obviously, Hobbs is excluding upstate New York regardless of where Cornell's grads wind up. Likewise, he's ignoring Yale (I always thought "tri-state" meant NJ, NY, and CT? Isn't Seton Hall as close to Connecticut as it is to Pennsylvania?), which sends a modality of its graduates to NYC. He also pretends that there isn't a huge, cataclysmic drop between NYU and the mass of third-tier schools that follow it. But hey, that's the luxury of being right in a technical sense.

It also ignores things like this:

Public Service Score
1. Rutgers 1 - 8.6%
2. Rutgers 2 - 7.0%
3. Seton Hall - 6.5%

Or this:

Unknown Score
1. Seton Hall - 7.1% (LST seems to have mistakenly put 7.7% here)
2. Rutgers 1 - 3.3%
3. Rutgers 2 - 1.1%

The highest Unknown Score in the region appears to be 7.9%. Oops - we lost twice as many people as our main competitors!

Seton Hall also benefits greatly from New Jersey's obscene amount of low-level clerkships:

State/Level Clerkships
1. Rutgers 2 - 34.1%
2. Seton Hall - 28.7%
3. Rutgers 1 - 26.7%

It's rare for non-NJ schools to be above 10% in this category. And you can tell that Seton Hall includes its army of state-level clerks in within "full-time, long term" bar passage required jobs even though they know almost all of them end after 12 months by simply looking at the distributions. Without that network of clerkships, Seton Hall's numbers would drop below many of its rivals in the broad New York City area.

Private Law Firm Placement (from LST)
Fordham - 42.1%
Hofstra- 36.3%
Cardozo - 31.1%
Brooklyn - 29.2%
Pace - 29.1%
Seton Hall - 27.9%

So the advantage to Seton Hall is that you get to play small-firm employment roulette twice. But Hobbsie sees this as a positive:

As you’ll see in the chart below - which tracks our judicial clerks' post-clerkship employment, we found a 94% full-time, long-term employment rate among the 100 graduates who had accepted clerkships, with 72% having entered private practice.

To translate, almost half the people who have "full-time, long-term bar passage required jobs" from Seton Hall have a 94% chance of landing a "full-time, long-term" job when that first temporary job ends, if you believe Seton Hall's unaudited, self-interested follow-up numbers. And why wouldn't you believe it when a law school says you've got a 94% chance of employment?

I write all of this to underscore Hobbs' conclusion:

These are results that we are proud of.

LOL. No, just...LOL. God, pass me a cigar.

I mean, let's look at the dumpster fire:

1. There were 310 graduates of Seton Hall a year ago.
2. 22 could not be located. 30 were unemployed and seeking. That's a full 1/6 of the class.
3. Another 11 people worked in part-time or short-term jobs.
4. Another 3 worked in non-professional/un-determinable positions. We're now up to 21.3% of the class with craptacular results.
5. Of the remaining 244 students, a full 89 took "long-term" state/local clerkships, meaning they would have to hit the employment market a second time the following year. That's 36.4% of students who remain and 28.7% of all students. At this point, we have accounted for 50% of the class with less-than-ideal results. Of those 89, an estimated 5 will be unemployed 21 months after law school ends, and very few will transfer to employment that can properly service six figures of student loan debt.
6. Moving to the attorneys, we have 2 people who went solo and 32 who landed jobs at firms of 2-10 attorneys. These, too, are almost certainly not making enough to service the private school debt, given how small firms work and pay. That's another 10.9% of the class. We're now at 60.9% of the class with fairly weak (or, at best, uncertain) results.
7. Seton Hall lists 31 "JD Advantage" jobs, most of whom would need to be in "business and industry" if you break down the numbers. If you actually believe that, I've just GOT to tell you about Glen Ross Farms.

A law dean with a conscience would find these numbers deplorable, pathetic, anger-proviking, wretched, inadequate, lamentable, grim, sorrowful, tragic, distressing, reprehensible, and a hundred similar words.

Thankfully, Seton Hall has Patrick Hobbs in charge.

These are results that we are proud of.

Law schools, this is what you want in a leader, the Stalin-like ability to see the good in what is, statistically, a slaughtering of the majority.

This man makes roughly $400,000 per year per the school's tax filings.

Also - ProTip - if you ever have fraud accusations thrown your way, shower the state attorney general with accolades.